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February 28, 2014

Plattsburgh State men missing 2 key players for hoops semifinals

PLATTSBURGH — It’s somewhat incredible the Plattsburgh State men’s basketball team has had nine different players lead it in scoring in at least one game this season.

That depth will be severely tested this weekend.

The second-seeded Cardinals (21-4, 15-3) oppose third-seeded Geneseo (21-5, 14-4) at 6 p.m. tonight in the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at Brockport.

In the second semifinal, Oswego goes up against the top-seeded Golden Eagles. Tonight’s semifinal winners will tangle for the championship Saturday, with an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line.

Plattsburgh will be without its two leading scorers — Shavar Fields (14.5 points per game) and Shamoy McIntosh (12.8).

McIntosh was injured in last Saturday’s 88-73 win over Buffalo State in the regular-season finale. Plattsburgh coach Tom Curle is holding out hope McIntosh will be available if the Cardinals advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Fields has been dismissed from the program due to conduct detrimental to the team.

“I’m more concerned with the guys who will be playing for us,” Curle said. “Of the nine players who have led the team in scoring this year, we still have six of them playing.

“We still have the heart and soul of the team still here with Chris Manning and John Perez. Nobody has touched that this year. And Ezra Hodgson and Mike Mitchell have been playing very well of late.

“We will shorten our bench, but we can win with our seven top players we have available. We might go eight deep. We have some really good players. Our guys are confident and looking forward to the weekend.”

Perez (12.5 ppg) and Edward Correa (11.5) will be asked to support the offense, while Xavier Thomas, Hodgson, Mitchell, Manning, Alan Siergiej and Anthony Baker will need to help out.

Perez leads the Cardinals in rebounding (9.2) and Manning in assists (5.1).

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